7 min read

Email Design: Best Practices and Tools

Written by Andriy Boychuk
7 min read
Table of Contents

    There are so many different ways of appealing to new audiences online. But, while many marketers focus their attention on some of the more newfangled approaches, there is one that has continued to reign supreme for many years now: email.

    With four billion email users worldwide, 95% of whom check their email every day, marketers that focus on targeting audiences in their inboxes tend to do very well in terms of lead conversions and sales.

    Email’s impressive ROI is a testament to that fact, with an average return of $42 for every dollar that you spend.  

    Email Design: Best Practices in 2021

    If you want to make the most of all that email marketing has to offer, you have to get the design just right.

    Fail to make your campaigns eye-catching and consistent because of some common mistakes, and your emails will more than likely get lost in the competitive crush of people’s inboxes.

    Admittedly, email design best practices do change over time as consumers come to prioritize different things. So, to make sure you’re up to date, here are the email design best practices to keep in mind for 2021.


    The biggest buzzword amongst email marketers right now is “responsiveness.”

    Basically, with responsive email design, brands can create better experiences for their consumers. And, since UX is a key factor in driving conversions, it would be short-sighted to dismiss responsive design as a mere fad.

    What it does is automatically reformat your beautifully designed emails for different devices. So, it won’t matter if a reader opens an email on their :

    • Desktop
    • Tablet
    • Smartphone.

    Either way, the content will be readable and the format retained to assure ultimate viewing pleasure.

    This can lead to an increase of 15% in unique clicks on mobile devices.


    As well as being responsive, your email campaigns also have to be visually appealing, from the top to the footer of your email.

    If you send out emails with plain text on a blank background and nothing else, then you give readers very little reason to engage.

    So, grab their attention and don’t let go with:

    • Color schemes that reflect your brand’s image
    • Impeccable formatting
    • Striking visuals.

    Your graphic design elements, in particular, have the power to accelerate engagement, with emails containing infographics, illustrations, and videos far more likely to perform better amongst audiences of all types.

    → Find inspiration for your attractive email campaign with our email design ideas.


    The job isn’t done once you’ve spruced your email campaigns up. Any campaign you send must be well-targeted, too. That way, you’ll know exactly who you’re designing for and can be sure that the right approach is taken for each segment of your audience.

    Speaking of segments, using data to determine the best way to appeal to different demographics within your wider target market is another great way of elevating the design of your email.

    With a good approach to both targeting and segmentation, marketers have the opportunity to create different email campaigns that will appeal to a broader range of people, using specially selected design features for each group.


    There are several different ways you can target your consumers via email, and plenty of reasons why you should.

    • Personalized emails are much more likely to be opened
    • Personalized emails can generate six times higher transaction rates.

    So, as well as including each customer’s name in an email’s subject line, consider sending out emails that are designed exclusively for a certain type of audience member when they complete a specific action.

    When consumers can see that an email is directly relevant to them, they will engage with it far more willingly.


    Your perfectly designed emails won’t amount to much if you don’t send them out at the right times. So, set up automations.

    Doing so can ensure that any flows designed specifically for customers that have, say, signed up for a special offer, reached a milestone with your business, or abandoned their cart will receive an email that has been designed with them in mind.

    If you want reassurance that you’re sending out the right email designs to the right people and at the right times, you can also monitor your flows using split testing. This should help you determine what designs are working well and which need to be rethought.

    How to Design an Email

    It’s all well and good talking about great email design. But, if you don’t know how to design an email, it’s not necessarily an easy thing to pull off.

    Thankfully, there are plenty of online tools, templates, and email design inspiration you can turn to to make the process of adhering to email design best practices much easier.


    With templates, a lot of the heavy lifting is done for you. Particularly with templates that have been designed just for your brand by the experts in the field, the job of creating emails that attract the attention of specific target markets is made far easier. 

    There are also online tools you can turn to, many of which offer a range of free templates. In theory, all you need to do is find one that will work well with your content and branding, and then customize it so it suits your style. 

    However, generally speaking, the templates offered by these platforms are pretty generic and won’t be tailored to the audiences you want to reach.

    So, working with the pros to help them create a tailor-made template just for you is still the way forward. 

    Other Tools

    As well as templates, other tools can help you ensure your campaigns meet email design best practices. They include:

    • Drag-and-Drop Editors

    With a drag-and-drop email editor such as the one offered on Stripo, even those with little to no design experience can create striking emails that contain all the right design features.  

    •  Collaboration Tools

    Sometimes, the best results are achieved through combined efforts. If you prefer collaboration, look for email design tools that can make that happen, such as Chamaileon.

    •  Metrics

    To get the best results possible, it will be necessary for you to monitor your metrics and use them to inform your strategy further down the line. There are tools that do exactly that for all different platforms, like this Monthly Stats for Gmail tool from Google.

    Email Design Best Practices

    Clearly, there are several things you’ll need to get right if you want your campaigns to adhere to current email design best practices and, in doing so :

    • Boost clicks
    • Boost sales
    • Boost revenue. 

    And, with such a wide range of tools and templates available to marketers, it’s never been easier to build engaging emails that target ideal audiences.

    So, take a good look around. Even if you think you don’t know how to design an email, there are sure to be platforms and programs out there that will help you create campaigns that look super professional.


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